Contact / Bio

Phillip Colla Photography
8021 Paseo Arrayan
Carlsbad, CA 92009 USA
(760) 707-7153
photos@oceanlight.com
OceanLight.com & LandscapeAstrophotography.com

Galactic center of the Milky Way galaxy rises above Death Valley's Eureka Dunes.

Galactic center of the Milky Way galaxy rises above Death Valley’s Eureka Dunes.

I am a natural history photographer and writer. I focus on wild marine mammals, the California kelp forest, inhabitants of remote eastern Pacific islands, National Parks of the American West and, most recently, waves and surfing. I am fortunate to have visited many spectacular terrestrial and underwater settings as well as to have encountered a variety of threatened and endangered animal species in the ocean. My natural history photography has appeared in the print editions of BBC Wildlife, National Wildlife, Ocean Realm, Ranger Rick, Reader’s Digest, Skin Diver, and National Geographic Magazine, has been used in various advertising and publicity campaigns, is in use in many aquaria and museums, is licensed to appear on hundreds of websites, and is occasionally recognized in international photographic competitions.

My photography has received awards in past Wildlife Photographer of the YearNature’s BestOcean Views and National Wildlife Federation contests, the most significant and competitive wildlife photography competitions in the world.

Strengths of mine include an understanding of the underwater dynamics of socializing and competing humpback whales, using breath-hold diving in the open ocean to obtain spectacular images of marine animals such as blue whales, ocean sunfish and drifting zooplankton, and the ability to combine personal experience and factual research into exciting natural history writing. My fitness and experience is well-suited to a variety of challenging environments including the open ocean, temperate and tropic underwater habitats, deserts, coastal regions, mountain and sub-arctic terrain. I am probably the only photographer in the world whose catalog includes underwater images of all of the following: blue whales (the largest animal ever to have lived), rare endangered Guadalupe fur sealsPacific white-sided dolphins, socializing groups of sperm whales, a newborn gray whale calf in the wild, humpback whale competitive (“fighting”) groups, the odd ocean sunfish (Mola mola), distant and pristine Rose Atoll National Wildlife Sanctuary, and Olympic champion swimmers accompanied by wild dolphins. These days, most of my underwater photographs are taken breathhold diving, far from shore.

I live near San Diego, California with my wife and daughters, spending as much time as possible near, on or in the ocean.

Periodicals / News / Wire:

BBC Wildlife, National Geographic Magazine, National Wildlife and International Wildlife (NWF), GEO, Nature’s Best, Nature, Science, All Animals, Ocean Realm, Scientific American, Sportfishing, Saltwater Sportsman, Reader’s Digest, Tauchen (Germany), Islands, Skin Diver, Scuba Diving, Sport Diver, Dive (UK), Sea Magazine, Highlights for Children, Unterwasser (Germany), Pacific Coast Sportfishing, Marine Photo (Japan), Natural World (UK), Living Planet (Australia), Carve Surf (UK), Boards (UK), Wildlife Conservation, Sports Illustrated for Kids, National Geographic Kids, The New York Times, The Washington Post, United Press International, USA Today, Ranger Rick and My Big Backyard (NWF), Outdoor California, California Wild

Advertising / PR / Marketing:

Pacific Life, Smith Barney, Patagonia Inc.

Books / Calendars:

BBC Books, World Books Publishing, National Geographic Society Books, World Wildlife Fund, American Greetings, Time Inc., Prentice Hall, Cambridge University Press, John Wiley and Sons, Houghton-Mifflin, McGraw-Hill, US Postal Service, Orion Books (UK), Enslow Publishers, Thomson Learning, Pearson Education, Guiness World Records, Scholastic, McDougal Littell, Voyageur Press, Nature Company Guides, Trident Press (UK), Grange Books (UK), Heinemann (UK, NZ), Dorling Kindersley (UK), Colin Baxter (UK), Sichtweise Verlag (Germany), Lonely Planet Guides, Stone Creek Publications, Mondadori (Italy), Kodansha (Japan), Portal calendars.

Gov / Museums / Aquaria / Scientific, Environmental and Research Organizations:

National Park Service, US Department of the Interior, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Georgia Aquarium (Atlanta), John Shedd Aquarium (Chicago), American Museum of Natural History (NY), Monterey Bay Aquarium, Florida Aquarium, Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific, Royal Ontario Museum (Canada), Scripps Institute of Oceanography Steven Birch Aquarium, Newport Aquarium (Kentucky), Denver Museum of Natural History, Los Angeles Zoo, Columbus Zoo, Houston Zoo, Artis Zoo (Amsterdam), Oregon Zoo, Calgary Zoo, World Wildlife Fund, Sea Shepard Society, Defenders of Wildlife, International Fund for Animal Welfare, ASPCA, Wildlife Conservation Society, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, Point Reyes National Marine Sanctuary, Southern Methodist University, University of Southern California, Catalina Conservation Society, Ocean Conservancy, Oceana, New England Aquarium, Siam Ocean World, Harvard Museum, Pfleger Institute of Environmental Research, Project AWARE.

The Milky Way galaxy arcs above Arch Rock, panoramic photograph, cylindrical projection.

The Milky Way galaxy arcs above Arch Rock, panoramic photograph, cylindrical projection.